1. Published

    If you have ever created a tentative NEEDS budget, it might be likely that you have some spending cash left over. It could seem tempting to spend it all at once and live paycheck to paycheck, but in reality, that’s probably not the best thing to do.

    Let’s go through what my WANTS budget looks like, on an average week and month.

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    Being in college is exciting. Learning things that you want to, socializing with new people, going out to eat, etc. All of this comes with the freedom of being independent. Parents are not there to tell you what to do. Sounds great, right?

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    Life after college can be overwhelming as graduates begin their careers and start to face new challenges such as repaying their student loans. There are different repayment plans one can choose based on the type of student loan(s) one takes. Once you identified the type of loan, whether it is a federal student loan, private student loan, or both, you can begin planning out how you are going to pay off your debt.

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    Preparing for graduation can be extremely stressful. Students can easily be so distracted by the present that they don't plan for what is going to happen after graduation. There are many things to think of when preparing for graduation. Here is a list of things that could be beneficial:

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    Many students tend to struggle with whether they should live in university housing or on-campus apartments. Now, I would like to provide some pros and cons of living in these two types of housing, based on my experience living at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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    Time is a precious asset, especially for any person looking to invest or put money away for retirement. Many people may not realize just how important and simple using time to their advantage can be.

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    There are many ways to have fun while staying safe and healthy during the pandemic without spending a lot of money. A few of my favorite activities to do are crafts, exercising, playing games, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends. There are many things to do, alone or safely with others.

    Exercising can be done in many fun ways, such as taking a walk around campus or at a park, biking, swimming, sledding, ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, or grabbing a friend to hit the gym together.

  8. Published

    Building good exercise habits leads to a better physique. The same is true for financial health and well-being.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a millionaire or a broke college student; the better your financial habits are, the more financially secure you’ll be, and the more freedom you’ll have in how you use your money. I’m going to provide my top ten tips and habits that will help you maintain good financial well-being in your lifetime.

  9. Published

    These days, a cell phone is an essential to many people. Cell phones can help you contact people in a hurry and can help you keep in touch with friends and family. However, there is no secret that cell phone plans can be an outrageous expense every month. After paying all other utility, housing, and grocery costs, sometimes it may be hard to find the extra cash to pay your phone bill. Here are some tips and suggestions to keep your phone bill at a low and affordable cost.

  10. Published

    One of the most stressful things about college is determining which housing best suits you.  As a student, you have to pick between living in certified university housing or an apartment. If you have chosen to live in an apartment, now what do you need to consider?

  11. Published

    If you plan to go to college, you are likely going to take out some amount of student loans. For many individuals, the process of obtaining and owning these loans can be stressful and confusing, possibly a necessary evil to get a college education. However, this debt can be used for good purposes. If you are smart with your budget and educate yourself on what each loan entitles you to, you will be able to use your loans to better yourself. 

  12. Published

    As counterintuitive as it may sound, offering 5% cash back on goods users purchase actually increases a credit card company’s profit margin. The reasoning behind this lies within how credit card companies generate money. (Sometimes a bank or credit union issues the credit card). First, by offering an incentive to use credit cards as a form of payment over cash or checks, it increases the probability that the financial institution will be able to collect interest on any remaining balance left unpaid.

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    There are pros and cons to both choices, as each can affect your overall finances and credit score.

    Advantages of paying the entire balance at once include not paying interest fees, not maxing out on your credit card’s limit and the decrease of your credit utilization ratio. The credit utilization ratio is how much you owe compared to your credit limit. The lower the ratio, the better your credit score.

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    In the past several months, many people have endured some type of loss due to COVID-19. A situation that many, particularly college students, have found themselves to be in is unemployment. Fortunately, Congress passed the CARES Act to provide relief to those who faced financial difficulties related to the looming uncertainties from the pandemic in the form of an Economic Impact Payment – more commonly known as the Stimulus Check. This payment is a $1,200 credit for the 2020 tax year that does NOT have to be paid back to the government.

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    Choosing to continue with education beyond a Bachelor’s degree is a huge investment. Even after researching the tuition and fees of potential programs, there are other hidden costs that can be unexpected and add up quickly. Here are some hidden fees to know about especially when considering applying to graduate programs:

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    Credit cards are a helpful tool that can build your credit history, allow you to make purchases that can be paid off over time, and save you from fidgeting around with cash at the register. When applying for a credit card however, it is important to keep in mind that some cards may better suit your needs than others. Here are a few factors to consider and compare before choosing a card:

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    Approaching this question first requires you to determine your critical expenses. Everyone’s critical expenses are subject to variability, but some broad categories would include housing, food, health care, utilities, transportation, and any debt you may have. You should not include anything you’d cut from your budget in the event of job loss or major catastrophe.

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    Who doesn’t love that feeling when a big chunk of change hits your bank account? You think, “What can I buy with that?” and start fantasizing about all the goodies you’ve had your eye on. But, hold on, before you burn through that cash, let’s think for a minute about what else you can do with your student refund.

    Many college students are receiving more money back from their schools this semester due to more courses being held online instead of in-person. With getting more money back in refunds, we have more choices on where that money will go.

  19. Published

    Milktea drinks taste so good. Just thinking about the creamy milk, the refreshing tea flavor and the chewy Bobas might have already made you want to grab a cup. Or, perhaps it’s the aroma of coffee that tempts you!

    However, have you ever thought about how much the daily store-bought drink costs you? Let’s do the math quickly. Let’s say one drink costs $4.50, and you buy it five times a week. Then the total adds up to $90 per month and $1080 a year. I mean $1080 a year! That gives you more than enough money to purchase a great smartphone!

  20. Published

    When each semester begins, the bookstore is crowded with students. I used to be among these people but later I realized that it was financially unwise to buy all my textbooks from the bookstore. Have you ever had the same feeling? Have you ever spent hundreds of dollars buying textbooks and wanted to find cheaper ways to purchase textbooks? I have some tips for you to save money.